Jan 292015
 

It’s day 85, and it’s turning into a very busy day.  I am not a fan or supporter of Comcast, but for my building, I have two choices for broadband, that or my current provider Clear.  Clear has been purchased by Sprint, and they just raised their prices.  In addition, their service has dropped off.  I used to get 7 Megabits consistently, and now I’m getting 5 on a good day.  As much as I hate to do it, I can actually save money with Comcast and get 120 Megabit service.  I’m waiting for the installer to come.  That means that two of my five main email addresses will change, and I’ll have to inform a lot of suppliers.

It’s in.  Damn it’s fast!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:09 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The "Anti-Commandeering" Rule: In 1997, by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court, created an "anti-commandeering" rule, which bans Congress from ordering state officials to carry out federal duties. The case was brought by two county sheriffs, who did not want to do background checks for firearm sales as ordered by the Brady Act. The new rule led to holes in the database that would allow persons prone to violence, like the killer in the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting, to get firearms. Stevens notes that the "anti-commandeering" rule could also cripple other Congressional acts, from routine administration of federal programs to emergency responses to national catastrophes or acts of terror. His fix adds four words (in bold below) to the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges and other public officials in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

This is just one of six proposed Constitutional Amendments written by retired Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, to help fix the damage done to America by the Fascist Five Republican Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD). Click through for the other five.

From The New Yorker: In a historic Oval Office ceremony on Thursday morning, President Barack Obama signed an executive order closing Congress, effective immediately.

The President said that the move would dramatically increase the efficiency of the federal government, noting how much he had accomplished since he stopped working with Congress in November.

Additionally, he said, the elimination of Congress would result in annual savings of more than five billion dollars, which Obama said would be refunded to American taxpayers.

Acknowledging that “some sticklers” would argue that the Constitution calls for three branches of government, the President said, “All this order does is reduce that number by one.”

The initial public reaction to the President’s decision appeared to be overwhelmingly positive, as news of the executive order sent his approval rating soaring to seventy-nine percent.

Bad, Andy!! Bad!! How dare you tease us with such a beautiful idea?!!?

From NBC: U.S. regulators on Thursday raised the standard for high-speed Internet, voting that only connections with download speeds of 25 megabits per second or faster will qualify as broadband. The Federal Communications Commission’s previous definition of broadband was a download speed of at least 4 Mbps. The change, opposed by Internet service providers and Republican FCC commissioners, means nearly a fifth of Americans and more than half of those living in rural areas now lack access to high-speed Internet. The change is not expected to immediately influence how competitive the FCC formally views the broadband market. But it could give the agency more of a bully pulpit to push Internet service providers to increase connection speeds and support competitors formed by municipalities.

Excellent idea.  This article is what set me off.

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Jan 282015
 

It’s day 84.  I’m writing and waiting for Store to door to deliver groceries, which I will then put away.  I’m feeling pretty tired, because my body is trying to revert to the old schedule, but I knew this would take time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:34 (average 6:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Huffington Post: Punk rock band Dropkick Murphys is not happy with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

In fact, the band tweeted its members "literally hate" Walker, who used the band’s song "I’m Shipping Up to Boston" as intro music ahead of his speech at Saturday’s Iowa Freedom Summit.

Until I saw this, I had never heard of Dropkick Murphys. I became an instant fan, even though Punk Rock does nothing for me. Dropkick the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan!

From YouTube: State rep threatens to reveal peers’ affairs / LGBT, Equality, Alabama

 

I would love to see her do it. Republican Family Values means only that Republicans love to intrude into YOUR family’s values.

From Think Progress: At least professionally, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office has already paid for filing murder charges against two cops who shot and killed a homeless man in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Just a day after DA Kari Brandenburg announced for the first time in recent memory that she would pursue criminal charges against cops for an on-duty deadly shooting, there was another police shooting in the city, which has seen a spate of fatal police shootings since 2010 at eight times the rate of New York City.

And when a prosecutor from Brandenburg’s office went to the scene and sought to attend an investigative briefing, as prosecutors had been doing for years as part of their collection of evidence, police wouldn’t let her in. They claimed that now that the DA’s office had filed criminal charges against a cop, they had a “conflict of interest” and should be excluded.

This is clearly abuse of police power and the officers responsible should be severely punished.

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Jan 272015
 

It’s day 83.  The second day of the new schedule did not do so well.  I was awakened at 2:30 AM by the person in the apartment above me.  He got off the elevator on the wrong floor and kept trying to open my door with his key. I did not get back to sleep until after 6:00 AM and slept later than intended.  I could still write, but the news is all snow, so this is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:19 (average 5:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The political network overseen by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaign, an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history.

The spending goal, revealed Monday at the Kochs’ annual winter donor retreat near Palm Springs, Calif., would allow their political organization to operate at the same financial scale as the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Is it any wonder that so many Republicans are whoring themselves to suck nevermind?

From Daily Kos: Interesting article in Politico today on how Elizabeth Warren ended Obama’s nomination of rich Wall Street banker Antonio Weiss to be Under Secretary for Domestic Finance.  Warren led the effort to totally shut the deal down – she wouldn’t even meet with Weiss. Some choice bits:

The game in Washington had changed.

Elizabeth Warren, sometimes disregarded by the White House as a largely irrelevant nuisance, could no longer be ignored. Bolstered by grass roots groups eager for any anti-Wall Street crusade and a vibrant progressive media that hung on her every word, Warren succeeded in knocking out Weiss’ nomination

    …

It was not a total victory. Weiss will still join Treasury as an unconfirmed counselor to Secretary Jack Lew. But in terms of symbolism, the Washington power game and the ideological direction of the Democratic Party, Warren won big. And the moderate, Wall Street- and business-friendly wing of the party — in past years happily occupied by Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting Hillary Clinton — got punched in the mouth.

Isn’t it wonderful to have a Democrat with the will and the ability to hold Hillary’s feet to the fire. Go Liz!!

From Alternet: Severe winter storm events often prompt naysayers to mock, “Where’s that global warming?” But while the concept may seem to conflict with rising global temperatures, these storms are actually obvious evidence of man-made climate change.

Climate change, say scientists, fuels the increasing intensities of winter storms. Warmer temperatures allow the atmosphere to hold more moisture and create heavier than normal precipitation. Climatologists agree that global warming will continue to make these storms worse over time.

Weather is different from climate, scientists point out. Weather is what we experience on a day-to-day basis; climate — especially in regards to climate change — is more about long-term trends.

What’s more important is that this storm is deadlier than RepubliCare in a retirement community, even if it isn’t as severe as forecast. Please stay in a safe place.

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Jan 262015
 

It’s day 82.  Here goes the new schedule.  I tried to watch the Pro Bowl last night.  I forgot how badly they have screwed it up and turned it off before the first quarter was over.  I feels very strange to have slept part of last night.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:51 (average 5:32).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Republican Presidential candidates descended on Iowa over the weekend, giving Iowans a rare opportunity to evaluate all thirty thousand hopefuls in one place.

The candidates were a big hit with their G.O.P. audience, who attempted to determine which of the thirty thousand would do the best job of eviscerating Obamacare and deporting college students.

Andy always has been a master of understatement.

From NY Times: Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza coalition, is about to become prime minister of Greece. He will be the first European leader elected on an explicit promise to challenge the austerity policies that have prevailed since 2010. And there will, of course, be many people warning him to abandon that promise, to behave “responsibly.”

So how has that responsibility thing worked out so far?

To understand the political earthquake in Greece, it helps to look at Greece’s May 2010 “standby arrangement” with the International Monetary Fund, under which the so-called troika — the I.M.F., the European Central Bank and the European Commission — extended loans to the country in return for a combination of austerity and reform. It’s a remarkable document, in the worst way. The troika, while pretending to be hardheaded and realistic, was peddling an economic fantasy. And the Greek people have been paying the price for those elite delusions.

Click through for the remainder of this Paul Krugman Editorial. Austerity work for the super rich only. That’s why Republicans love it so.

From USA Today: Thousands of flights were canceled, schools were closing early and snow trucks were rolling Monday in anticipation of a monster storm expected to roar across a wide swath of the Northeast with up to 3 feet of snow and near-hurricane force winds.

A blizzard warning was issued for the New York and Boston areas and more than 5,200 flights had been canceled before the storm cranked up. The storm will impact more than 40 million people, according to the National Weather Service.

The treacherous, 24-hour-plus snow odyssey was expected to be most severe late Monday and deep into Tuesday. AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines said Philadelphia, New York City and much of New England could see 1-2 feet of snow. Parts of central Massachusetts and central Connecticut could be in the 2-3 foot range, he said.

feel so sorry for you guys! Please take extra precautions to keep yourselves warm and safe. Here, when the sun burns through the fog, and it warms up, I’ll go bask my kitty butt in 58°.

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Jan 252015
 

5It’s still day 81.  I’m changing my schedule.  I plan to upload articles whenever I finish writing them for the day.  It will keep me more current, and I won’t have to wait until midnight to upload.  I’ll be a little less regular, but I think I’ll get more rest this way.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s is on the first Open Thread.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: That he can say such vile things with a smile on his face speaks volumes of his character. (Warning:NSFW or around children, or decent folk)

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Behold the love of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians! These are NOT authentic Christians. Authentic Christians honor the beliefs of others. Republicans prove the existence of DEVOLUTION.

From Washington Post: The Obama administration will propose setting aside the 1.4 million-acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness, the White House announced Sunday, a move that will spark a fierce battle with the new Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman, Lisa Murkowski, and other Alaska Republicans.

I fully support this move and wish he would do more.

From Desmoines Register: Donald Trump is aggressively pushing himself back onto the Iowa stage as presidential material.

In a sit-down interview with The Des Moines Register, he said the two presumed GOP frontrunners, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, are doomed to lose — and he expressed regret that he hadn’t run himself in 2012.

Trump said he should be in the White House right now.

When Trump joins the clown car, every day is a bad hair day.

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Jan 252015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 81.  Yesterday I spent almost the entire day in bed.  I’m still quite worn, but not so much that I can’t write.  I am running somewhat late, because we had a beautiful sunny day today with a 60° high, and as we cats often do, I could not resist basking in the sun for a bit.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:26 (average 5:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: This MLK greatest hits album doesn’t actually exist *yet*, but it’s a pretty damned good idea.

 

Amen to this. "Beyond Vietnam" is a speech everyone should have heard more than once.

From NY Times: Jorge Ramos, the Univision and Fusion television anchor who is often called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America, was in his suburban Miami broadcast studio when he all but pounced on the chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, who was appearing from Washington. The Republicans’ immigration policy is “deportations, deportations, deportations,” Mr. Ramos said. “Why?”

Mr. Priebus, who stared out from multiple screens in a control room here looking as if he would rather have been doing anything but talking to Mr. Ramos, insisted it was not so. But Mr. Ramos would not have it.

“The message,” he retorted, “is anti-immigrant.”

It appears that making the official Latino Republican Response to the SOTU the opposite of the of the official Pig Nuts Republican Response didn’t work.

From The New Yorker: President Obama’s proposal to give workers six weeks of paid leave is meeting strong opposition from a group of people who annually receive thirty-three weeks of paid leave…

…The opponents of paid leave, who show up for work a hundred and thirty-seven days per year and receive paid leave for the other two hundred and twenty-eight, were baffled by other moments in the President’s speech.

For example, they were confused by Obama’s challenge to try to survive on a full-time job that pays fifteen thousand dollars, since they all currently hold a part-time job that pays a hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars.

Dang it Andy!! I do news commentary. You do comedy. You’re in MY turf AGAIN!! ;-)

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Jan 242015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 80.  Yesterday my meeting with my guys in prison went very well.  About 75 had a general meeting, while 25 had a discussion on ethics with students from an University of Oregon Ethics class.  I could not have been more proud of all of them.  The students left with a changed perspective about prisoners.  On the down side, I turned off my O2, when I got to the Activities section and would be sedentary, but I turned the bevel to continuous flow instead of off by mistake, le3aving mw with an empty O2 tank.  That made the trip home extremely difficult.  It wiped me out in the procss, so I need to spend the day in hiding.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:51 (average 6:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Cartoon:

TCSleeping

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